About this Research Topic
Sleep is a fundamental function that influences both brain networks and numerous cognitive processes such as learning and memory. Substantial changes in cognitive functions occur with age, memory decline being the most frequent complaint in the elderly. Memory decline is accompanied with age-related changes in brain network organization and in sleep parameters. Sleep disruption is commonly underdiagnosed even though it is a potential risk factor contributing to the development of neurodegenerative diseases.
Brain maintenance and sleep may be crucial to preserving cognition. However, there is a large heterogeneity in memory aging, stressing the importance to identify the neural factors subtending cognitive decline that may have important implications on the efficacy of interventions and preventive measures. It remains a fundamental challenge to disentangle brain and sleep mechanisms that are specific to normal or pathological aging.
The aim of the Research Topic is to provide a comprehensive, updated view on how age-related changes in brain and sleep mechanisms may affect memory in healthy aging and neurodegenerative processes (e.g. Mild Cognitive Impairment, Alzheimer disease). The studies are expected to be based on neuroimaging techniques including, but not limited to, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), Positron Emission Tomography (PET), electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG). The study of memory may focus on specific processes, such as consolidation or retrieval mechanisms, or on memory complaints.
In this Research Topic, we welcome the submission of reviews, original research, methodological and theoretical articles involving pathological and/or healthy aging which can advance our understanding of the relationship between sleep, brain processes and memory. Subtopics of interest include:
• Interventions studies on sleep and brain mechanisms that aim at improving memory in aging (e.g. brain stimulation, targeted memory reactivation, etc.)
• Sleep changes as a predictor of cognitive aging and age-related cerebral modifications
• Role of sleep in memory decline with age
• Sleep as an early marker of dementia
• Brain mechanisms contributing to successful memory aging
• Effects of napping on brain mechanisms and memory in aging
• Neuroimaging of functional networks during sleep
Keywords: memory, aging, neurodegenerative processes, neuroimaging, brain networks
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